Mr. Brooks

2007 crime drama

Rating: 12/20

Plot: The "Thumbprint Killer" tries to break his addiction to shooting people while they're having sex, and it might just be the comedic stylings of Dane Cook that get him there. Pervy Cook has incriminating photos and wants to make himself a third-wheel in the adventures of Mr. Brooks and his imaginary buddy. Meanwhile, a detective works on hunting him down, and his college-aged daughter has disturbing news. But Mr. Brooks, an intelligent guy, might just have a way to get out of a whirlwind of problems.

There's a scene where Costner and William Hurt start laughing, and it lasted for just a little too long, so I started laughing with them. I felt a little like Dane Cook's character, only I could see William Hurt.

The reason to see this is the idea at the center of it. My buddy Josh recommended and loaned this to me, and that was because of the idea rather than the execution of the idea. Having Hurt and Costner share dialogue gave a unique perspective on the inner workings of the intellectual psychopath idea that was probably starting to get a little tired by 2007. Hurt is probably the best thing about the movie, and he really seems to relish playing this type of character. I did a special feature with best cinematic imaginary friends a while back, and Brooks' pal Marshall could have probably ended up on there somewhere. Costner's performance is a little more uneven. It was nice seeing him exploring a different kind of character than normal, but the character was never all that believable and some of the character's quirks didn't make sense. What, for example, was going on after the first murder when Costner starts twirling and gesticulating?

Dane Cook. I just have to know who's idea that was. I don't like the shape of his head. He's not a total distraction here although it's easy to tell he's not exactly an actor. Demi Moore does precisely what she normally does, but the character she portrays is so poorly realized and at the heart of so many unnecessary subplots that it makes her performance seem annoying and unnecessary. I did enjoy the detail about her character being into younger men though.

I did really enjoy seeing cute little Reiko Aylesworth, what's-her-face in 24. Michelle? Was that her character's name? If so, that's probably a piece of information I can let go of.

The superfluous subplots winds up being what keeps this movie from being really good. Demi's character's divorce stuff, a lot of the stuff with Costner's daughter, another killer who growls crap like "We're gonna have some fun with you!" It just all a little too much of a distraction from what should have been the focus of this. This movie needed some serious trimming.

The writing also isn't very good. While there's some great individual pieces of dialogue, there's also this strange exchange between Demi Moore and Dane Cook about a "hunch" the former has:

Demi Moore: What do you have to tell me?
Dane Cook: Nothing.
Demi: Really? Because I was driving around and suddenly got this feeling you had something to tell me about the murder.
Dane: No, nothing.
Demi: Well, that's disappointing.

That conversation, by the way, ended with a "See you later, alligator."

There's also a moment where Mr. Brooks tells Dane Cook, "You look a little like that E.T. guy. You remember that movie where he flies the bike?" because Cook's character was wearing a hoodie. It was such a stupid piece of dialogue that I stopped rooting for the killer like I usually do and instead began to root for the Second Coming.

My favorite Mr. Brooks scene that didn't have a nipple in it involved orange juice. Costner pours himself a glass, attempts to take a sip several times, and ends up with it poised a few inches from his mouth after another character says something that he has to respond to.

I'm not sure why I notice things like this, but it makes me feel like I'm wasting my life away.

Anyway, thank you to Josh for recommending this and getting a copy into my hands.

No comments: